Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse

Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse

Spring 2015 Poetry
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Leslie Bulion
ISBN: 978-1561457373
Hardcover Price: $14.95

"Random Body Parts" may sound like a Frankenstein tale but, in fact, this slim hardback is a lively and intelligent exploration of the human body with plenty of rhyme and reason.

Before even getting started, you'll find some clues what's to come: Shakespearean rhyme blended with some Dr. Seuss-like rhythm and no dirty limericks to challenge readers in identifying basic human anatomy:

"Of course you have a body,

But do you have a clue,

Where all the body parts you've got are found

And what they do?"

This oddly insightful book uses sonnets, limericks, haikus and other fundamental poetry forms to create short, riddle-like descriptions of the organs of the human body-from skin ("All that shivers deep within…Must have this cloak to swaddle in….") to the tongue ("You can search for lost words on my tip, or reveal hidden thoughts when I slip…") to the stomach ("Thrice the empty pot has whined…The signal comes: 'This time, 'tis time!"). And, yes, it's age-appropriate.

The poems are the prize, often echoing well-known verses from the world of poetry. The drawings are simple, whimsical, cartoonish. The glossary near the end simply defines various anatomy and medical terms.

Assuming your young readers will willingly embrace a poetic approach to science and physical education, the real bonus is at the end where the author provides interesting reference notes of the literary origin and thinking behind each of the body-part poem. So, while this is where the Bard and the Body meet, the science takes a backseat to the sonnet.

Don Oldenburg   ©2015 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Peachtree Publishers

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